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Girl, It's Not You. It's Him

I’ve always wondered why men who seek unattached sexual relationships, intentionally pursue women who make it clear that they want romance and commitment. They lead us on, doing and saying all the right things to get us right where they want us. But after the sex, the inevitable happens. We never hear from Mr. Perfect again. Women often blame ourselves and wonder where things went wrong on our end. But the issue is never actually us. It all boils down to toxic masculinity, how men view women as property, and take pride in the manipulative games they play.

I used to ask myself why these men never pursue women who want what they want. Women who are comfortable with their sexuality and enjoy the perks of casual sex. That’s when it dawned on me, that doing so would put a dent in their fragile egos. For men, sex is almost always about control. The only time men enjoy sex with sexually liberated women is when they’re paying for it. This way, they maintain the illusion that they are the ones in control. A woman who is free from social conventions regarding her body is labeled a whore. All while men are free to live a similar lifestyle with no judgment.

But it’s not just about sexism and control. Men get a sense of pleasure from leading women on. It’s emotionally damaging, preventing women from putting their full trust in future partners. This also causes a shift in gender dynamics as time passes. Women become more emotionally withdrawn, trying to remain one step ahead of the men they date. But I wouldn’t necessarily consider this a bad thing. Beating men at the games they play has given women a new sense of power, causing the opposite sex to rethink their player strategies, and put themselves in the shoes of those they hurt.

When I think of the sexual dynamics between men and women, it becomes clear to me that men are never really in control. Not really. While the patriarchal standards of relationships still cause women to bear the brunt of public opinion, 'pussy' makes the world go round. Sex work makes you a whore. Friends with benefits make you a whore. Casual relationships and open marriages make you a whore, all while men have no issues being on the receiving end of these ‘entanglements.’ As we've recently seen with this situation between Jada Pinkett-Smith & August Alsina, sexism shows it's ugly head once again. The reactions from men show that the issue is less about their perceptions of cheating and more about the fact they feel personally betrayed as men. Betrayed because they hate the idea of women having sex with any man who isn't them.

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